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Rite Aid commences annual flu shot initiative

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Rite Aid pharmacists also can administer an intradermal flu shot, which uses a smaller needle that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and approved for people ages 18 to 64.

Rite Aid Corp. has kicked off its seasonal flu vaccination program, targeting both consumers and the workplace. Administered by a certified immunizing Rite Aid pharmacist, seasonal flu shots are now available on a walk-in basis at the drug chain's nearly 4,600 stores. And again this flu season, Rite Aid will have team to hold on-site workplace flu clinics.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. has kicked off its seasonal flu vaccination program, targeting both consumers and the workplace.

The drug chain said Tuesday that seasonal flu shots are now available on a walk-in basis, and are administered by a certified immunizing Rite Aid pharmacist, at its nearly 4,600 stores during pharmacy hours.

Rite Aid will offer the standard trivalent flu vaccine, which protects against three flu strains: the influenza A H3N2 virus, influenza B virus and H1N1 virus. Also available is a quadrivalent flu vaccine that offers protection against an additional influenza B virus, which has appeared in six of the last 11 flu seasons.

All Rite Aid pharmacies are now supplied with trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines as well as a high-dose flu shot approved for people age 65 and older. The company said an intranasal flu vaccine will be available in mid- to late August. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently recommended the intranasal flu vaccine as the preferred vaccine for healthy children ages 2 to 8, according to drug chain.

Rite Aid pharmacists also can administer an intradermal flu shot, which uses a smaller needle that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and approved for people ages 18 to 64.

“Getting a flu shot as soon as it is available is the single best way to protect yourself and others against the flu,” Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. “Rite Aid pharmacists stand ready to provide this important health service as part of our ongoing commitment to helping our customers and the communities we serve live and stay well. And we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, so they and their loved ones are protected against the flu.”

Again this flu season, Rite Aid will have team to plan and hold on-site workplace flu clinics, staffed by certified immunizing Rite Aid pharmacists. The drug chain also can offer employers a voucher program, in which employees get a flu shot voucher to use at any Rite Aid pharmacy. The company noted that the program can help employers avoid what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates will be $10.4 billion in direct costs for flu-related hospitalizations and outpatient visits.

The CDC recommends that everyone age six months and older get a flu vaccination as soon as it is available, since it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Certain groups of people are at greater risk for complications from the flu and are strongly recommended by the CDC to get a flu shot. Thosed groups include diabetics, pregnant women, adults over age 65, children under age 5, people with asthma and other chronic lung diseases, people with kidney and liver disorders, heart disease patients and people with compromised immune systems.

Rite Aid added that flu season also provides an opportunity for people to review other immunization needs. Using a checklist based on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, Rite Aid pharmacists can advise people on other immunizations they may need. The chain’s pharmacists can administer vaccinations for 12 other diseases, including whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella, meningitis, shingles and pneumonia, depending on state regulations.


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